According to reports, one of the nation’s biggest PR firms (who represents brands such as Coca-Cola and Starbucks) is strongly advising their portfolio to steer clear from delivering any sort of messaging on where their company stands on the issue of Roe v. Wade potentially being overturned in the future.
The PR firm in question is Zeno Group, and per an internal email from the firm, they warned their clients that when it comes to the issue of abortion it is a “textbook ‘50/50’ issue.”
This internal communication advised clients that “the media” and other individuals or entities “will look for corporations to take a stand and make their views known” when it comes to the conundrum surrounding the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion on Roe v. Wade.
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But the firm pointed out the obvious when it comes to contentious topics such as abortion, as any publicly released stance on topics of this nature lives in the realm of “no-win situations” as any statement is doomed to anger or “alienate” a sizable chunk of employees, customers, and investors.
“Do not take a stance you cannot reverse, especially when the decision is not final. This topic is a textbook ‘50/50’ issue. Subjects that divide the country can sometimes be no-win situations for companies because regardless of what they do they will alienate at least 15 to 30 percent of their stakeholders…Do not assume that all of your employees, customers or investors share your view.”
Basically, Zeno Group is noting that in the modern era, people are far more apt to vote with their wallets when it comes to social issues.
Not only is Zeno Group advising their clients to avoid any direct media inquiries regarding Roe v. Wade, but they’re also advising their clients to not reach out to media outlets regarding any topic as they could put themselves in a trap with the media outlet using the story as a means to extract a statement on Roe v. Wade.
Zeno Group CEO Barby Siegel commented on the contents of the internal communication, adding that this email is not the sole piece “of counsel that we are providing to clients,” but that it was meant to “counsel clients to be measured in their immediate response to a complex developing story.”
A spokesperson for Zeno Group noted in a statement that the company takes a serious approach to helping their “clients proactively navigate complex societal issues, consider the actions they may take and the accompanying communications, internally and externally.”
Even though the internal communication stressed that companies should tread lightly on controversial topics like Roe v. Wade, the Zeno Group spokesperson added the firm acknowledges “that companies are increasingly expected to take a stand on major issues, and we believe it’s right to do so when it is authentic to the organization, and consistent with their values and actions.”
This piece was written by Gregory Hoyt on May 8, 2022. It originally appeared in RedVoiceMedia.com and is used by permission.
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